The pandemic has forced many businesses and employees to adapt, and it has led many individuals to conduct work from a home office. Working from home has plenty of advantages, but it also presents some unique challenges to your productivity and even your health. We’ve noticed an increase in work from home related injuries in the past few months, and we decided that we should share some tips for how certain injuries can be avoided. In today’s blog, we explain how to ensure your work from home environment keeps your physical health in mind.
Common Sources Of Work From Home Injury
Most causes of work from home injuries are repetitive stress in nature. And while you’re not going to be operating a machine press and performing the same actions each day from your home office, repetitive tasks at your workstation can take a significant toll on your body. Some of the more common sources of pain in telecommuters are in the neck, spine and wrist, three areas that handle a lot of stress or micro-movements throughout the course of the day at a home office.
Sitting at a desk for hours on end may not seem like all that physical of a task, but for some structures, it means they must handle stress in a stagnant position for an extended period of time. Over time, this can serve to weaken muscles, damage joints and cause spinal discs to shift out of place. Repetitive micromovements in the wrist while controlling a keyboard mouse can also speed up arthritic degeneration and bring on early onset carpal tunnel syndrome.
So how can you help prevent these issues if you’re confined to a desk job at home or in the office? That’s where workplace ergonomics comes in. Giving yourself an ideal work environment can put your body in a position where stress isn’t so problematic. Some additions or changes to your workplace setup could include:
- Sit-To-Stand Workstation – Switching to a sit-to-stand workstation will help to take pressure and stress off your spine. Regularly switching between standing and sitting will change how pressure is displaced on your body and help prevent muscle and joint overload.
- Adjustable and Comfortable Chair – Don’t work from the couch, bed or an uncomfortable office chair. Invest in an adjustable and comfortable chair that helps to keep your spine in an ideal position. These adjustable chairs also allow you more flexibility, which means you can change your position and take pressure off of different areas of your spine.
- Wireless Keyboard and Mouse – Wireless keyboards and mouses allow you to have a little more freedom of movement with your hands. This ensures you can find a comfortable position to work with your hands, and this comfortability helps to prevent damage to the wrist. Wireless options make it easier to have your hands positioned in a healthy and ideal manner at your desk.
- Adjustable Monitors – Finally, consider switching computer monitors to a more flexible option. Not just one that adjusts right to left, but also adjusts up or down. This way you can put your screen in the ideal position in relation to your body instead of positioning your body to best view the monitor, which could be tough on your back and neck. Adjustable monitors make it easier to avoid slouching or hunching forward at your desk.
If you keep these tips in mind and invest in a home office setup that takes your health into account, we’re confident you’ll give your body the best chance to avoid needing a physical therapy session. But if pain or discomfort has been developing, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists to work with a professional team that can help put an end to your issues. For more information, contact our clinic today.
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